Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) Newsletter February 2015

Behr’s Swainson-pea, Swainsona behriana, a new record of Mt Majura (Photo A. Clauson).

Happy new year to you all and welcome to the February 2015 edition of the FoMM newsletter. It has been a great summer on the mountain with plenty of rain and amazingly, another 20 plant species have been added to the Flora list since September 2014! The latest finding is a single plant of Zornia dyctiocarpa var. dyctiocarpa, a rare pea plant found in the reserve close to the southern edge of Hackett in the endangered Yellow Box Red Gum grassy Woodland. It has also been recorded from the airport side of Mt Ainslie. However, it is a palatable species which has sadly disappeared in the woodlands due to overgrazing by native herbivores.
See you on the mountain.
Best regards,
Jo Lynch
FoMM Secretary

FoMM activities and news:

Woody Weeds Working Party – Sunday 15 February 9am – 1pm.
Help tackle woody weeds on the northwest slope of Mount Majura! Come for a search and destroy session to rid the reserve of Hawthorns, Sweet Briar Roses and Cootamundra Wattles using the cut-&-daub and frill methods. Come for an hour or more. Novice weeders please come early for an introduction to the target weeds and the safe use of tools and herbicides.
Where: Mt Majura nature park off Antill Street, North Watson. Meet at the Nature park entrance roughly opposite Carotel.
Bring and wear: Sun protection, appropriate shoes, body-covering clothing to protect yourself from thorns; we provide tools and morning tea.
Enquiries: Reply to this email or phone 6247 7515
Click here for more information

Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) has lobed leaves and fleshy red fruits (Photo W.Pix).

Bush Clean-Up – Sunday 1 March 9am-12pm
FoMM will be hosting a Bush Clean-up in the Mt Majura nature reserve on Clean-up Australia Day. Join us and give a hand.
Where: Volunteer registration at the nature park access, The Fair in North Watson close to the intersection Tay St and Ian Nicol St.
Bring your friends and family, sun protection, drinking water and gloves if you have them, and wear enclosed shoes, long sleeves and pants; we’ll provide some extra pairs of gloves and rubbish collection bags.
Enquiries: ph 6247 7515 or reply to this email.
Click here for more information

The 2014 Clean-up “harvest” (Photo W.Pix)

Walk: On a Trail with Ants – Sunday 1 March, 4 – 5.30pm
Ants are fascinating, beautiful and fun to watch. Join expert Ajay Narendra for a glimpse into the fascinating world of one of the most dominant animals on the planet. Discover Jack Jumpers and other ants of Mt Majura on this nature walk hosted by FoMM. Learn about the ants’ leading role in the environment as predators and scavengers and hear about their highly social organization, effective communication, and amazing navigation skills that have been the subject of research for generations. Kids (with adults) are especially welcome. Please tell us if you are allergic to bee and wasp stings.
Where: Meet at Helms Place close to Rivett St and Richard St intersection, Hackett.
The walk will be postponed to the following Sunday if it rains; same time and place.
We will be joined by renowned Swiss scientific illustrator, Ladina Ribi, whose wonderful illustrations will be on sale.
Click here for more information

Jack Jumpers use their impressive jaws to catch and hold prey and a sting to defend themselves and their nest. (Photo A. Narendra).

Mount Majura and Mount Ainslie in the news!
ABC News visited The Fair in December for a story on the endangered grassy woodlands and the birds which visit them in the summer. Read the story here.

Margaret Clough, Mount Ainslie Weeders Coordinator, being interviewed by Craig Allen at The Fair (Photo W.Pix)

Free Chemcert training opportunity! – Saturday 28 February 8:30am – 4:30pm
Are you able to help us control high priority weeds such as St Johns Wort, Patersons Curse and Thistles at our working bees by spraying them with herbicide? This method is much faster and more effective than hand removal. The ACT Parks and Conservation Service (PCS) are running another Chemcert training course for ParkCare volunteers involved in weed treatment. Volunteers wishing to undertake weed treatment in ACT parks and reserves using herbicides are required by the ACT Government to have this training. The one day course is paid for by PCS and includes safe use, storage and handling of herbicides. The training is for those undertaking the training for the first time as well as renewals.
Where: Stromlo PCS Depot, 500 Cotter Road, Weston Creek
For more information and to RSVP: contact ParkCare Coordinator by Monday 9 February.

Canberra Nature Map: Growing and growing
Canberra Nature Map (CNM) has skyrocketed to over 7000 registered plant sightings! The community run CNM project started in 2013 with the monitoring of rare plants in the Mt Majura nature reserve, and allows the community to report rare and endangered plant sightings and any of the many flora treasures in the ACT. 2014 was a significant year for Mt Majura with 33 sightings of plants species not previously described in the nature reserve! These include ferns, rare plants and 14 (!) new found orchid species –  view some of the CNM orchids of 2014 on Mt Majura here. Enjoy.

Other items of interest:

Erosion Control Workshop for ParkCarers and Landcarers – Day 1 Saturday 21 February, Day 2 Saturday 7 March
Southern ACT Catchment Group is offering these workshops to all Parkcare and Landcare groups in the ACT. The workshops will cover low cost solutions for volunteers to help stop active erosion in the parks and reserves in which they work. If you are interested please contact Martine Franco, the Southern ACT Catchment Group Coordinator on 6296 6400 or at RSVP by 11 February.
Click here for more information

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